There is a movie I'm sure many of you are quite familiar with. Or at least have heard it's name mentioned during a discussion about terrible movies. I am talking about The Room. A film so terrible, that some people tend to see it as brilliant satire. This early 2000's monstrosity has an aura of garbage around it from the very start. Right from the title. It may seem like a cryptic name, (and it is) but perhaps the meaning will become clear as the movie goes on? Nope. Just a shitty name. Maybe it was called "The Room" for a reason because almost every scene was filmed within a singular room. The same locations are used again and again, with props from one scene being used in different scenes meant to be set somewhere else! For the majority of the movie, it seems like the camera doesn't move more than 20 feet...
The poster child of this abhorrent flick is Tommy Wiseau. A man with an indistinguishable accent and even less acting talent than a can of worms. He plays the main role of "Johnny". Throughout the movie he spouts off lines that are so poorly timed and don't seem to fit with what was said before them, you'd think someone tore out a part of the script. Although, Johnny is not the only one with terrible lines, everyone has awful dialogue! It does make sense though seeing as Tommy Wiseau is not only a lead actor, but the writer, producer, executive producer, and director too. Hey, the guy has a lot on his plate, so we can't bash the writing too much. But let's not get sidetracked with these cardboard characters, the plot has yet to unfold!
PLOT: Johnny is engaged to Lisa. Lisa is a cheating bitch.
Boom. Plot ended. Yup. That's it... Well, I suppose there is a bit more to it than that. But since you're so eager to read my ramblings for a bit longer, we can go deeper into what The Room has to offer. Also, Spoiler Warning. But every other reviewer has covered this movie, so it doesn't really matter.
Within the first few minutes we are introduced to three of the characters: Tommy, Lisa, and Denny. Introduced is a bit of an exaggeration. By "introduced" I mean they get a name and a mild characteristic: Tommy gives a gift to Lisa, (making him the nice guy) Lisa takes it and takes Johnny upstairs to fuck his brains out, (Lisa is now the lover/love interest) and Denny asks to come upstairs too, (making him a total perv. He knows their love plan). All we've got so far is: Tommy- nice guy / Lisa- lover / Denny- pervert.
It's not much information right? Don't give us three main characters at once with no context! Denny is especially mysterious. He looks rather young, but also mature, so is he a roommate? Or Johnny & Lisa's child? If child, what happens next is extra creepy... Denny decides that the young couple sure could use his company and goes upstairs right as Johnny and Lisa are about to do the dirty deed. Then the line said by Denny after they tell him to leave them alone has rung in my ears for ages as comedy gold: "I like to watch". There are very few times in life where I have choked on my drink in shock. But hoo boy, this was one of those times.
Okay, enough analyzing every single scene, if this review kept on at that pace we would be here all day! So skipping ahead past the sex scene that goes on for far too long, (5 whole minutes) we are introduced to Lisa's mother. Even though Lisa seems to show affection towards Johnny, she converses with her mother about how she doesn't love Johnny anymore. Rather than feeling empathy and giving advice to her daughter in need, Lisa's mom, (not given a name) encourages staying with Johnny because he might get a promotion soon. I could be wrong, but telling your child to stay in a bad relationship because of money seems like bad parenting. Don't enable gold-diggers folks...
Mark is next on the chopping block. Mark is Johnny's best friend who Lisa calls up for a one night stand while Johnny is away. Alright, lets address the elephant in the room, (pun intended). Lisa is quickly becoming the antagonist of the story: Because Johnny has done nothing wrong, Mark is being manipulated, and Denny is just kinda there. I gotta hand it to Tommy Wiseau on this one. It's not very common to see a main character turn into the bad guy within the first 15 minutes. But those director credits are immediately revoked due to the second excruciatingly long sex scene. Now look, I'm not a prude. I'm fine with some good ol' movie theater smut. But not if it's 5 minutes long with the camera mainly focused on the guy, that's just not my style. The Room shows more man-ass than anyone ever needs to see.
Mark leaves and Johnny returns home, Lisa and him then get drunk off their heads. Why you ask? Well it's all in preparation for another sex scene. Jeez man, if you're going to have 3 of them within the first ½ hour at least make them good. If you can't do a Pee Wee Herman in the theater, somethings not right.
Blah blah blah, some "drama" happens and is never actually important to the final outcome. A lot of this movie is just filler scenes and dialogue so that the film's run time can be 90+ minutes. The only plot point that seems like it may be going somewhere is when Denny is held at gunpoint by a drug dealer. But this blows over and does not change a damned thing in the overall plot. But we do learn that Denny is just a neighboring student, and has no blood relation to Johnny or Lisa. Thank god... Leading up to this Denny confesses his love for Lisa, and I was still a bit worried he was their kid.
I neglected to mention him earlier, but the character of Mike is great. I'm not sure if he is meant to be the comic relief, (all the other characters are funny without trying) but his character is top-tier. The situations that he is put in, from leaving his underwear behind or falling into trash cans are not funny at all because of the poor presentation and writing. But it's not hard to tell that the actor playing him realizes what a shit-show this movie is. Mike is played as if The Room was intended to be satire. It's perfect!
Next, Lisa plans a party for Johnny's upcoming birthday. Everything in between this and the actual party is useless, it's just more of Lisa's mother being a terrible parent, or another mediocre fuck fest with Mark. Let me make this fact clear, the space between anything important is over 20 minutes. A short film with more meaningful scenes, is better than one drawn out for the sake of the movie's length!
Johnny's party is where the movie begins to come to a climax and an end, (thank god). With Johnny discovering his fiancee's affairs(s) and Mark confessing, a fight breaks out between the two but ultimately ends in Johnny storming upstairs, both him and Mark unharmed. (I was secretly hoping for some Jackie Chan style beat em' up scenes).
But Johnny isn't done with his Oscar-worthy performance yet! After destroying various artifacts around the house and wailing like Arnold Schwarzenegger on adderall, he reaches his breaking point. Retrieving a painfully obvious BB gun from a box on the dresser, our beloved Johnny meets his self inflicted death by plastic pellet.
As our protagonist has met his end, so has the movie. Lisa and company remorse at the loss of Johnny, and the credits roll... To be completely honest, it's a real relief to be done with this below B-movie status film.
Overall, I did not enjoy those 99 minutes. Not the way I was intended to enjoy it anyway. If someone could manage to clone this level of terrible for the purpose of satire, it would truly be a work of art... But go ahead and see The Room if you want to have a good chuckle at how awful it is and also knowing that some nerd spent hours writing this review that is equally as bad as the movie being reviewed.
Thanks for reading through my review of the 2003 movie: "The Room"! I hope you enjoyed my first written review, (normally I do video reviews). If you would like to see those video reviews and other misc. content: Feel free to visit my website and/or my YouTube channel. Thanks again! - Ben Z.
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